Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, Gina Gershon, Robert Davi
“There’s always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.
Gina Gershon as Cristal
Paul Verhoeven may do many things in his life. Who knows, he may even save people’s lives like Captain “Sully” Sullenberger or do an amazing humanitarian or charitable acts. Life has taught me that anything can happen. But, no matter where life takes Paul Verhoeven, he will always be the director that committed Showgirls to film. Showgirls celebrates its 15th anniversary with this special 15th Anniversary “Sinsational” edition released by MGM Home Video. And, I actually had to type the pseudo word “Sinsational” in order to do this review. Somehow, that shames me. Onto the review, shall we?
Since this film has achieved somewhat of a “cult status”, many of you know what this film is about. But, if you missed it somehow, here it is in a nutshell: Nomi (Elizabeth Berkley of Saved by the Bell fame) springs forth from “nowheresville” America to make a name for herself as dancer on the mean streets of Las Vegas. She hitchhikes to Vegas, gets duped by a truck driver, and loses all of her possessions. She is left standing in her dream city with nothing and nowhere to stay. She meets the compassionate Molly (Gina Ravera), who takes her in and gives her a place to stay. It isn’t long before Nomi is dancing nude at the sleazy Cheetah strip club to make ends meet. But things may change for her soon. Molly gets her backstage at the Las Vegas stage show “Goddess”. This is where she meets Cristal (Gina Gershon), star of Goddess and Zach (Kyle MacLachlan), entertainment director of the Stardust. This meeting is vital to the so-called plot of Showgirls and will change Nomi’s life forever. Got it?
Where do I begin with this film? For one, don’t expect to like anyone in this film. Nomi is one ridiculously unlikable character: she is at once stupid, rude and malicious. People try to help her only to get mistreated by her. And Kyle Mac Lachlan suffers from one of the worst haircuts to hit cinema since Larry Fine of The Three Stooges. Everyone is shallow, bitchy and innocuous.
What sold this movie in 1995 was nudity and lots of it. And the promise of NC-17 sex scenes with Elizabeth Berkley, star of the squeaky clean show Saved By The Bell. Did any of this save the film? No, the film upon its original release was a box office bomb and critics panned it, deservedly so.
But, what elevated this garish trashy film to “cult” status was its release to home video. The film found an audience that knew the film was garbage, but oh how they loved this spectacular hunk of glittery garbage. The viewer can tell that what they are witnessing had one colossal cinematic misfire. A situation that is often called “so bad it is good”.
I actually don’t like referring to Showgirls as a cult classic. I think of films like Polyester, Eraserhead, Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Big Lebowski, Freaks as cult classics. That’s more my taste in cult films. I still think the bar should be held high to be in the elite club of cult films. If we don’t, films like Glitter or From Justin to Kelly are going to get in there and that’s just sad.
I digress. Anyway, those of you out there that love this rhinestone covered mess know who you are and cannot wait to own this blu ray and host your friends over to shriek over the painfully awkward sex scenes and unbelievable dialogue.
The series is presented in 1080p AVC MPEG-4 transfer in an anamorphic widescreen presentation. The transfer is first rate. The black levels are highly respectable and the colors and skin tones are nicely presented. This is a solid transfer.
The series is presented in lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 audio. The dialogue is crystal clear and well mixed. This is a first rate presentation. You will be able to hear every bit of groan worthy dialogue
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The film is presented in a two disc blu ray amaray case with a cardboard slipcover with Nomi’s vacant stare on the clover.
There is a plethora of bonus material available in this release. There is a video commentary on this and it has to be witnessed to be believed. During a scene at the Cheetah Club, a icon appears on the screen. Select it and a picture in picture commentary with two strippers’ plays. Yes, you read that right. And they talk in vapid fashion about what you are seeing.
The Greatest Movie Ever Made Commentary with David Schmader. Schmader is aguy that loves the film and has hosted countless screenings of his beloved piece of cinema. His commentary is entertaining and pretty funny.
Showgirls Fact up Trivia is offered and is a pop up trivia track. Lap Dancing Tutorial Featuring the World Famous Girls of Scores pretty much sums up this bonus feature.
A Showgirls Diary is a bit of a making of featurette . Rounding things out is the theatrical trailer and an irritating infomercial-like bonus feature about pole dancing.
No one from the actual film is involved in any of these bonus features. Guess they are ashamed to be associated with this film. Go figure.
Overall (Not an Average) 6/10
The Movie 5/10
The Video 7/10
The Audio 8/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 6/10
Overall (not an average )6/10